Scaffolding that stays in place for months or years “is a detriment to our neighborhoods,” said Councilman Kate Powers.

Thursday, March 16, 2023, 11:03 p.m

New York's scaffolding bill aims to alleviate the longstanding problem

NEW YORK (WABC) – New York City Council members are introducing new legislation aimed at speeding up facade work and limiting the use of long-term scaffolding on sidewalks.

This measure will support buildings that need help getting work done quickly, reduce delays caused by permitting requirements, and hold building owners accountable for late work.

Under the council’s proposal, the scaffolding would have to be at least 12 feet tall and erected within a strict time frame.

“(Bill) H-0972 would create a new timeline for the removal of scaffolding if there is no active construction for an extended period of time,” said New York City Council Member Kate Powers.

The package of bills would also allow for drone inspections to help property owners speed up the dismantling of scaffolding.

Powers went on to say that scaffolding left in place for months or even years “harms our neighborhoods by creating unsafe spaces and … harming the small businesses that are buried beneath them.”

Sometimes it is cheaper for landlords to put up scaffolding than to make the necessary repairs.

For the past sixteen years, 409 Edgecombe Avenue has been imprisoned by scaffolding.

The proud 13-story Harlem Renaissance monument was once home to WEB Du Bois and Thurgood Marshall.

It is also home to the oldest, continuously standing scaffolding anywhere in New York City. Michelle Turner has lived there since the 1970s and hates it.

“There were some things on the facade that needed fixing,” she said. “But what, 20 years?”

The owners of 409 Edgecombe were fined and the scaffolding was finally removed.

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